Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Over The Top

My wife claims that I am not a football fan, more of a fanatic. I am a rabid fan of the Kansas City Chiefs, and certainly was not pleased to see them lose last weekend. I not unsympathetic with fans of the New Orleans Saints, but filing a lawsuit against the NFL because a bad call by a referee caused "denial of the enjoyment of life" is a little much.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Oh No, Romo Again

The Super Bowl will be on CBS, and I may not watch it because doing so will mean another three hours of listening of Tony Romo worshipping and swooning over the New England Patriots. This does not have to do with the Kansas City Chiefs breaking my heart yesterday, I was ready to kill that blithering idiot well before the game started.

During the game Romo described as new and amazing one Patriots play in which the linemen drop back and pass block, and then the quarterback makes a delayed hand off to the running back. He even diagrammed it on screen for us ending with, “they think you’re going to pass and then you run.” He almost wet himself describing the innovative genius of Bill Belichick.

Well, not quite, you moron. It’s called a “draw play.” There are 31 other teams in the NFL who run that precise same play, in precisely that same manner, and they’ve been doing it for more than fifty years. It’s as common as white stripes on a bone-headed referee, and it was designed and implemented well before Bill Belichick was even born.

Romo wasn’t very bright when he quarterbacked the Dallas Cowboys, either.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Predictions for Today (Football)

Reading the expert opinions on likely outcomes for today's games leads me to solidify my conclusion that this nation's water, or perhaps air, has something in it that causes a massive die-off of brain cells. Sports writers have become even more stupid than political writers.

One pundit was predicting outcomes based on the records of the teams over the past ten years, which includes statistics from periods when many of today's players were not yet in the NFL, let alone with the teams they currently play for. Only one of the head coaches has been in place for that long, and one of them is only in his second year.

To be reasonably fair, most are evaluating the teams' performance this year, but what does that actually tell us about how they will play today? So the Chiefs scored 40 points against the Broncos, and the Patriots scored 48 points against the Chargers; does that mean that today's game will be 40-48 in favor of the Patriots? Get a grip.

I remember all of the pundits who were predicting that Patriots/Chargers would be a close game based on the way that the way the Chargers beat the Ravens the previous week. Some even picked the chargers to win based on the win over the Ravens. And then the Patriots led the Chargers by 35-7 at halftime in a game that was not as close as the score made it look.

My prediction? I don't know what's going to happen, but I'm looking forward to watching it. I may be badly disappointed and watch one, or even two, blowouts. Those talking heads on the television have no better idea than I do.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

We Have the Biggest Targets

The US is talking about sending a carrier through the Taiwan Straight; a move that, as far as I can tell, would serve no purpose other than pissing off the Chinese and endangering the aircraft carrier. That seems counterproductive to me. Pondering that thought took me back to my days in “the silent service.”

Submarines are the original stealth machines. Stealth is our thing. It’s what we do best. It’s the one thing we do better than sinking enemy ships. It’s comforting to know that they can’t blow you up if they can’t find you.

Aircraft carriers are sort of at the opposite end of the spectrum, and we always thought that you had to be nuts to want to be on one of those damned things.

We were coming back to Submarine Base New London and for some reason had set the “special sea detail” earlier than usual. (I never figured out what was “special” about it, as it was really the only “sea detail” we had, and was set both entering and leaving port.) As we entered Long Island Sound we passed an aircraft carrier going the other way.

Carriers were not as large then as they are now, but from our viewpoint three feet above the waterline, that sucker looked pretty big to us. We looked at each other, two minds with but a single thought as Tom said to me, “How do you miss a target that fucking big?”

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Hand Wringing Runs Amok

Somebody needs to get a grip. The federal government does not exist for the purpose of providing paychecks for people who work in government jobs. Having the government shut down is not good, but the loss of income to government employees is not the main issue.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Refuting Mindlessly

Those who know me know that I am emphatically not a fan of Donald Trump, but listening to Pelosi and Schumer last night made me wonder if this nation is being governed at all.

“Let’s end this shutdown,” they urged, “so that we can continue discussing border security.” Just like they did before the shutdown. If that “discussion” had been showing any promise whatever of leading to resolution there would not have been a shutdown. Apparently Pelosi and Schumer are not aware of that. Let's end the shutdown so we can go back to doing what caused the shutdown.

Let me repeat that. They are seriously suggesting, "Let's end the shutdown so that we can go back to doing what led to the shutdown."

The real kicker, though is their rebuttal to Trump’s claim that 90% of the drugs that are killing people “came across our southern border.” No, they claim, it did not. It came from Mexico, they admit, but it came through legal ports of entry.

So these legal ports of entry from Mexico are apparently not on our southern border? Where are they then? Inquiring minds want to know.

And, wait… What?!  These illegal drugs came in legally? Or are we just not checking what people are carrying when they come in through these “legal ports of entry” from Mexico which are not on our southern border?

Pelosi and Schumer looked and sounded in that televised rebuttal like they were some sort of walking dead (except they weren’t in motion), and the content of their rebuttal was most certainly brain dead.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Diminished Intelligence

We do seem to be coming into the generation of declining intelligence, as reflected in discussion surrounding the football games this past weekend.

On the gambling/predicting side of it, forget “covering the spread,” three of the four teams favored by the odds makers lost. In two of those losses, the game was never even competitive. In the game that was forecast to be a blowout, not only did the wrong team win, but the game was decided by a single point, with the clock expiring. By a missed field goal, no less, with the ball bouncing off the goal post twice.

So much for “home field advantage,” three of the four home teams lost.

The Cowboys decided to shut Russell Wilson down and make Seattle beat them with their much vaunted running game – if they could. They could not, but they never stopped trying, even when it was obvious that they could not. They ran on first and second down well into the fourth quarter, and never gained more than 1.5 yards per run.

There are things you can do when your opponent is stopping your running game, but Pete Carroll never tried them until it was too late.

John Harbaugh left a rookie quarterback in the game after he dropped the ball three times, threw an interception and was held without a score. He had a Super Bowl winning quarterback on his bench and didn’t use him. He later explained that he did this because the kid "is the future of the team.” Stupid. He's a rookie. If he's the future of the team, let him play in the future, when he has gained enough experience to be of benefit to the team.

John Harbaugh placed the feelings of his quarterback as more important than giving his team an opportunity to win the Super Bowl, which is stupid. The team is stupid enough to thank him for doing it, and the media is stupid enough to applaud it.

Update, Monday 10:05pm: Just to add to the embarrassment of the punditry, the NCAA team favored by six points was blown out by 28 points in a game that made one wonder how Alabama won even one game, let alone fourteen.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Extreme Symbolism

Democrats are putting laurels on the head (an ancient symbol of victory) of a bartender elected to Congress, the much adored Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, for her vow to vote against Pelosi as speaker of the House because the Democratic Party needed new leadership.

How did that work out? Well, Pelosi is the current Speaker, of course but the Ocasio-Cortez promise to vote against her is even more empty than one might think, since when the vote actually occurred Ocasio-Cortez voted in favor.

When it was first announced the Democrats had regained control of the House there was a very real threat the Pelosi’s bid for a second term as Speaker would fail, in part because only 38% of Democratic voters endorsed her bid for Democratic Party leader.

Then Pelosi started spreading awards as chair of committees around to everyone who was opposing her, even creating a few new committees in order to have enough chairs to distribute. The largesse included a committee chair for Ocasio-Cortez, ending the Ocasio-Cortez rebellion.

Before the dust even settled from that, Democrats are breaking out the laurels again for an Ocasio-Cortez vote against the House rules due to the inclusion of the Republican rule of “Pay As You Go” (which Democrats cleverly renamed PAYGO), by which any new spending must be offset by spending cuts elsewhere or by a tax increase. Since only two other Democrats voted against the rules package, the Ocasio-Cortez vote was entirely symbolic.

“Symbolic” means that it is very good at cheering up the troops but serves no other useful purpose. Democrats are very big on symbolism, and very effective at serving no useful purpose.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Liberal Justice

A New York Times editorial (sorry, no link, it’s behind a paywall) asks a profound question which admits to no legitimate answer. “How can we deny citizenship to anyone, when none of us have done anything to deserve our own citizenship?” The editorialist is, of course, a white, female, native born American citizen and a registered Democrat.

There is an answer, however, and we are already engaged in implementing it. You take away the benefits of citizenship from those who are now citizens. Things like free the speech of anyone who doesn’t think the same thoughts you do.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Liberal Logic

The title is an oxymoron, of course, but introduces a statement made in all seriousness by a self-proclaimed liberal regarding our current president; claiming that, "he was elected by a minority of the voters, a vanishingly small one if the many non-voters are taken into account."

I did not bother to ask him why non-voters should be considered as a "percentage of the voters."  Nor did I ask him why, if they were included, they should be included as ones who voted against Trump. His answers would undoubtedly have satisfied him, but they would not have made any sense to me, so there was no point in asking the questions.

Update, Wed. 12/26/18: from a different person in a different "discussion" on why it's okay for us to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia but not okay for Russia to sell weapons to Venezuela. "No doubt we've done some terrible, terrible stuff in the world, but I do believe that we stand for freedom, some modicum of order, and general safety & opportunity."

Don't judge us by what we do, judge us by what we "stand for."  Right.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Military Goes Rogue

Another way to phrase the New York Times headline is that the military is determined to undermine the Commander in Chief by finding clever ways to circumvent his orders.

"Pentagon Mulls Options For Syria," the headline reads.

"The Pentagon is considering using small teams of Special Operations forces to strike the Islamic State group in Syria, one option for continuing a US military mission there despite president Donald Trump's order to withdraw troops from that country."

It goes on to explain that the troops would be stationed in Iraq, but would "surge" into Syria for specific raids, "according to two military officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity."

I'll bet they did demand anonymity, considering that they were revealing that the military is maneuvering to obviate two centuries of civilian control, and describing methods specifically designed to violate direct orders from the President of the United States. Rest in peace, US constitution.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Christmas in Amman

The hotel had covered the tree with star shaped ornaments each inscribed with the name of one of its staff. There were stars with names of all kinds. There were; Marys, Gunters, Muhammads, Seans, Josephs, Ahmads, 'Issas, Pierres, Ivans, Abdullahs, Muhsins, etc. There were hundreds of names.

I was hoping that Pat Lang would relate this story again this year. I always enjoy reading it. I urge you to go read the whole thing. It's a short piece, and worth your time.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Obamacare Again

A judge ruled that Obamacare is unconstitutional the other day, once again putting this silly topic back into the forefront of national conversation as if the fate of the free world depended upon the outcome. This is a program providing health insurance to fewer than 9 million people, while leaving 29 million still uninsured, which leaves me wondering why it is worth the effort at all. Why bother to take care of 2.9% of your population if you are going to ignore three times that many?

So we argue endlessly about a program which costs $55 billion and saves a few lives, and do not question at all a program which consumes $750 billion annually and kills people all over the world. Of course we have to do the latter or those people we killed might come here, presumably flying on a commercial airline carrying their AK-47s since they have no ships or airplanes of their own, and kill us all. Which we would pretty much deserve for being as stupid as we are.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

China Hacking Western Hotels?

Our government claims that China, the Chinese government no less, is behind the hacking of 500 million records of hotel visitors in the United States, allowing them (the Chinese government) to obtain the personal records of 500 million visitors to hotels in this country.

Do I believe it. No, I emphatically do not. What could the Chinese government possibly want with the "personal records" of 500 million non-Chinese people?

Monday, December 10, 2018

Election Nullification

I cannot cite accurate quotes here, because the reference articles are on the Washington Post and NBC News, and both websites contains advertisements which cause my browser to crash, but both media sites are terribly concerned about Republican legislatures passing legislation which limits the power of incoming Democratic governors. They cite a risk to the survival of democracy due to what they call “election nullification.”

That’s pretty rich. First they reported with a complete lack of concern when the Democratic Party rigged a primary election against a highly popular anti-establishment candidate, then they were completely unconcerned when a Democratic outgoing president and the losing presidential candidate tried to nullify a presidential election by claiming without the slightest shred of evidence that the Russians had rigged the national presidential election in favor of the person they lost the election to.

That there is a ton of evidence now, evidence which may or may not be valid, is beside the point. At the time that Democrats first made the claim of an illegitimate election the media fully supported Democratic claims that the election was fraudulent when there was no actual evidence offered at the time the claim was made. They were and still are completely unconcerned about, in fact are fully supportive of “election nullification” when it is the Democrats who are trying to do it.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Army Navy Game

I sat down to watch the Army/Navy football game yesterday and witnessed the Army chaplain precede the game with a prayer, beginning by intoning, “God of wonders, some wonder why we pray for a football game. So I tell them in this game, every player on the field is willing to die for every person watching.” (Which doesn't answer the question of "why we pray," of course, but that's beside the point I'm planning to make.)

He finished by saying, “And so, almighty God, we who are willing to die for others, we salute you. Let this game begin. Amen.”

I kept wondering what the future soldiers, sailors and marines were thinking about the chaplain’s characterization of them as being “willing to die,” and belaboring the point by saying it repeatedly, because I’m pretty sure none of them signed up for that. I kind of wanted to punch that chaplain in the face.

Lumping these fine young men and women together with Muslim jihadists who strap dynamite vests on themselves and walk into a crowded marketplace to blow themselves up was pretty insulting, actually.

Dying is not what these people have in mind when they sign up to serve their country. What they do is something far more noble than being “willing to die.” What they do is place the value of their nation above themselves. I am reminded of a wonderful line from a book by Kenneth Roberts about the Revolutionary War titled, “A Rabble in Arms.” One of the great novels of all times.

“They go to war, these young men,” he said, “not to die for their country, but to place themselves, their precious lives, between their home and the forces which would destroy it.”

On a more trivial note, I then watched the Army team play football, and do it very well. I don’t know what it was that the Navy team was doing, but it wasn’t playing football. They changed quarterbacks after the first one completed zero passes in four attempts during the first half with two interceptions, but it didn’t help. The second quarterback fumbled the ball rather than throwing interceptions, but the result was the same.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Growth Means "Smaller"

Dean Baker, economist, not only admits yesterday that his discipline mostly doesn’t know what it’s talking about, saying that, “Almost no economic models projected the collapse of the housing bubble and Great Recession,” in the same article he admits that he does not know what constitutes growth.

As things wear out, the tells us (“clothes, shelter, computers, etc.”), and we replace them with ones that are “better (e.g. longer lasting, clothes that are warmer or cooler etc.) than the ones they replaced,” presumably on a one-for-one basis since he uses the term "replace," he asserts in the article that, “that sure sounds like growth to me.”

So, if I have a 2 MHz computer with 2Mb memory that cost me $3000 and am able to buy a 4 MHz computer with 6Mb memory to replace it for $1400, which actually happened, that $1600 smaller sale and $1600 smaller contribution to GDP would represent growth to Dean Baker.

A businessman would certainly not consider a $1600 smaller sale, a 53% decrease, to be “growth.” Only an economist would think in those terms.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Solution Precedes Formula

I’m not going to link to the source because what he’s saying could have been said by any economist. It’s gibberish having to do with a discussion between economists regarding whether foreign trade increases or decreases productivity in the domestic economy. Suffice it to say, the discussion is a clear and convincing example of why we should not take economists seriously.

He begins his argument by saying that, “Gross output in the growing sector is (sum i = 1 to N of x_i^alpha)L1^(1-alpha)…” because economists love mathmatical formulas. Individual future performance can be predicted by past performance to some degree, but mass behavior is a different crittur, as the 2016 election demonstrated.

Economists get around this problem by making their math formulas so complex that solution of them is possible only by economists, who don’t actually solve them. They just present the desired result as being the solution of the formula.

As evidence of that, the guy goes on to say, “I am willing to bet you could whip up a model (a.k.a. math formula) where trade causes high productivity growth within 15 minutes.”

Of course he can. “Whipping up” a formula to prove a foregone conclusion is much like conducting a trial process specifically to prove that a particular drug works and is safe. That’s how we get drugs on the market that kill people.

And this writer illustrates why economists are astonished when debt levels increase to the point that the economy implodes, because their “whipped up” formulas proved that it could never happen.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Politics of Intimidation

Gonzaga has denied the school’s chapter of College Republicans application to bring Ben Shapiro to speak on campus, and their reason for that denial is fascinating, citing the “protests and safety issues” that the event would cause.

The VP of Student Development said that because Shapiro’s presence would, “draw protests that include extremely divisive and hateful speech and behavior,” he could not permit his appearance on the Gonzaga campus.

That’s a hell of a reason. He is saying that he does not object to Ben Shapiro speaking, nor does he object to the principles of the group which wants to invite him to speak. He objects, rather, to the violence and ugliness of the liberals who oppose Shapiro. So what we have here is liberals using threats, violence and intimidation to silence their opposition. Gonzaga is not preventing free speech, it is merely bowing to fear.

It is not Gonzaga which is the foe of free speech here, it is liberals.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Aging Gracefully

Ginko Would that I could look so good at such an advanced age.

This is "The Elder Immortal Tree," a Ginko tree in China which is 3000 years old. Its foliage turns this color every fall. Click on the picture for a better look.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sea Stores

Another in the ongoing "Subron 8 Sea Stories" series.

I was always bemused when I heard someone speaking about a drinking problem and say of their time in the Navy that, “I was okay while we were at sea because there was no booze on the ship.” That dude served in a different Navy than I did, because there certainly was never any shortage of booze on my ship. In fact, the main reason for going on liberty when in port was to replenish one’s onboard stash of the good stuff, known in our vernacular as "sea stores."

The Executive Officer occasionally got a bee in his bonnet and went on a mission to seek out all of the “illicit alcoholic beverage” on board, usually shortly after leaving port, which caused us a good bit of amusement. One thing was his use of the pedantic term “alcoholic beverage,” which was a bit out of character for him, not to mention that any “alcoholic beverage” he found was by definition “illicit,” since all of it was smuggled aboard illegally.

Mainly the amusement was that he never found much because we were highly skilled at moving it from places he had not yet searched to places he had searched, and it never occurred to him to search any place twice. We were also pretty good at hiding it in places he wouldn’t think to look, like the crankcase of a main engine that was out of service.

There was also the “water round torpedo” tank, which took in water to compensate for the weight of a torpedo when it was fired. That could create problems if we were firing a lot of torpedoes, but we always knew in advance if that was going to be happening, so we could deal with that.

I won’t go into all of the rest, but sailors are nothing if not ingenious, not to mention devious. In any case, it was unusual for our sea stores to run out no matter how long we were at sea, even for cruises up to three months or so.

If our sea stores ever did run low, and sometimes just because it was good fun, we would hit the supply of torpedo fuel, which was pure grain alcohol. There are stories told about torpedoes being fired and going straight to the bottom upon leaving the tube because the crew drank all of the fuel, but I’m pretty sure those stories are bogus.

Pretty sure. Can’t guarantee it. If the men who served on those diesel boats were not insane when they came aboard, they went batshit crazy in pretty short order, so one cannot rule out any story told about those days.

What we hit was the reserve fuel supply. The Navy put formaldehyde in it, which is a deadly poison of course, to keep us from drinking it, and pink coloring to let us know that it contained formaldehyde. Not that the coloring was really needed; if the smell didn’t tell you it was there, the taste of it certainly would.

We developed several different methods of filtering, which took out the pink color but, unfortunately, did not remove the formaldehyde. Someone however, (it may have been me) knew that alcohol and formaldehyde boil at different temperatures, and so we built a distillery to distill the formaldehyde out.

Happily, the XO never found our still and we never blew up the ship by burning torpedo fuel to distill torpedo fuel, so we never had to worry about our sea stores running out.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Well, That Was A Stupid Quiz

One of those online quickies asked, "Can we guess what team you watched when you were growing up?" LSU comes to mind, of course, but they were talking about the NFL so I went along and they came up with the LA Rams. The Rams were in Los Angeles when I was growing up, but I was most certainly not paying any significant amount of attention to them.

As a side note, the fact that the Rams were in Los Angeles then and are now, but were not there for most of the time between confuses my wife a bit. She grew up in Los Angeles, but does not watch football much. She is quite well aware, however, that the Chargers are no longer in San Diego. She gets reminded of it from time to time, usually accompanied by a bit of profanity.

Anyway, the quiz was multiple choice and did not provide the answers I would have chosen. It asked, for instance, for my preferred area of the country and did not offer the Midwest as one of the choices. It asked what color I would paint my car and did not offer red and gold. That will probably tell you that when I was growing up, and to this day, my favorite NFL team is the Kansas City Chiefs.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Our Laws are Their Laws?

The United States keeps claiming that we are not an empire. This is usually relevant to us having military bases in no fewer than 135 nations other than our own, which certainly sounds like an empire, but the term “empire” could be applied to our expectation that the entire world is subject to our laws.

We recently, for instance, actually indicted a whole bunch of Russians for not complying with our election laws. I found that little move to be high comedy ironic, since our government only marginally obeys our own election laws itself.

Actually, election laws are not the only laws with which our government is only marginally in compliance with, but that’s a different issue.

Dean Baker wrote yesterday, as he does on a regular basis, of the gross impropriety of China’s “wanton violation of the copyrights and patents of U.S. companies,” without mentioning that such copyrights and patents are matters of United States law and that China is not really required to comply with US law.

China has a whole host of laws with which we do not comply on a regular basis, and their economists seldom complain about it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Subron 8: Flaming The Brass

Another in the ongoing "Subron 8 Sea Stories" series.

I’m standing in the lobby of the base exchange at Submarine Base New London with my friend Tom, just hanging out and trying to decide what to do next before heading back to the ship. I’m admiring the new cigarette lighter I just bought, which has the insignia of Subron 8 on it, a pair of dolphins peering out from behind both sides of an eight ball.

An officer, seeing that I’m smoking a cigarette and holding a lighter, walks up to me and asks for a light. The fact that he’s a full commander doesn’t bother me much, I’ve been around for a while, but the fact that I have a brand new lighter which has a lot in common with a napalm-fueled flame thrower does.

So I hold it down at my waist to strike it, intending to let it calm down before I bring it up to light the commander’s smoke. Unfortunately, he’s the impatient type and bends down just as I strike the flint. My lighter does its imitation of the thing that Marines used to use for burning the Japanese out of bunkers, and the commander leaps back, dropping his hat and nearly falling on his ass.

Tom does a good imitation of someone who just happened to be passing by, may not even be in the Navy, and certainly is not acquainted with this dangerous pyromaniac Electrician’s Mate. The commander gets his shit together while I’m trying to decide whether running for my life is a good idea or not. I decide it’s probably not and ask the commander if he’s okay.

He doesn’t actually answer, just gives me a dirty look which momentarily makes me reconsider the running for my life thing, and then says, “You need to trim the wick on that damn thing, sailor,” and walks off. I don’t know if his cigarette is lit or not, but I’m not going to run him down and ask.

Tom decides he does know me after all, but can’t talk to me because he’s laughing too hard to speak. For months afterward he’s asking me about the length of my wick. No, moron, that's my "wick" he's asking about.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Serving With Heroes

I was getting a routine checkup at my neurologist yesterday. He’s been seeing me two or three times a year, sometimes quite a bit more often, for a bit over twenty years, so we usually chat a bit during such visits. He was telling me, apropos of Veterans’ Day, that he had an uncle who had served in the Marines and had participated in the invasion of Saipan and Tinian.

I expressed my admiration of the Marine Corps, and went on to tell him of the Marines coming on board my submarine for training. Of course that led to me describing some of the pranks we pulled on those Marines, which he enjoyed.

That in turn led to me mentioning that some of the men in my crew had served in submarines during World War II, and had experienced depth charging by the Japanese Navy. He was sort of flabbergasted at the thought. I was, of course, a young kid at the time, and we revered these “old salts” greatly.

Thinking back on it, it is quite remarkable. Serving with those men was a great privilege, and is a memory that I treasure immensely.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunday AM Football Notes

The Chargers play the Raiders today and are 10-point favorites. Probably should be about 24 points, but I hope they watched the Aztecs last night, who were 27-point favorites playing UNLV, and lost. I think it's called a "trap game."

"Hey, dude, that thing is a football and the goal line is over there. Go."

Alabama's Josh Jacobs, #8, is a beast. When he runs the ball, yardage is not his purpose. He is looking for somebody to hit. He is disappointed when he scores a touchdown, because it means he didn't get to hit anybody. He would have no fun as a linebacker, because at that position you can't hit anyone unless he is carrying the ball. As a running back with the ball, anyone in a jersey of the other color is fair game.

New rule. If you are behind an Alabama player and he dives to the ground falls down without you touching him, you get penalized for an "illegal block in the back." Waving your arms at the ref and claiming that you didn't touch him is useless. Refs never make mistakes. Similarly, if the entire Alabama offense starts moving with the exception of the center, who is holding the ball motionless on the ground, it is not a false start.

I'm looking into how to start a Go Fund Me account to get seeing eye dogs for football referees.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Proactive? Pre-Protest

Sizeable protest in downtown San Diego last night over acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. They were demanding that he "recuse himself" regarding supervision of the investigation into Trump's "collusion with Russia" during the 2016 election, and because they fear he will fire Robert Mueller.

So liberals are now reacting to and protesting not what the administration is doing, but what they are jumping to the conclusion that it might do. I believe they think they are being "proactive," but I believe they are merely being half-cocked. Not to mention half-witted. They are ditching the first two firing line commands of, "ready, aim," and are going directly to "fire."

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

"Scientific" Studies

And we wonder why science is taken unseriously by so many people today, such as climate change deniers. I am not one of those, but I tend to become sympathetic with them when I see “studies” such as the one published yesterday in WebMD saying that, “Energy Drink Might Harm Blood Vessels.”

First of all, if you read the article, the “study” did not suggest that the drink harms blood vessels, it says that they might cause them to become smaller in diameter for an unspecified period of time. The report does not say if they tested to see how long it took for them to return to normal size, but changing diameter is a normal function of blood vessels and under most conditions is in no way harmful. It can, in fact, be life saving.

Further, it says that, “The study included 44 healthy, non-smoking medical students in their 20s.” No, I didn’t leave off any zeros in the number of people involved in the study.

What was the effect of energy drinks on a sedentary male in his 50s? Well, the study did not address that question, the study was only interested in the drink’s effect on 44 college students, out of a population of 320 million people in this nation. Why is that “study” worth publication?

So when a client change denier reads this “scientific study” and then reads another “scientific study” saying that the oceans will rise thirty feet by the year 2040, I’m not sure that I blame him for disbelieving it.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

What's In A Name?

The name of our nation is “The United States of America,” and yet we repeatedly hear federal legislators say that, "My responsibility is to act in the best interest of the people of my state." They are wrong when they say that, and that is a very big part of the problem this nation faces.

Their real responsibility of a federal legislator elected by the people of a state is to represent the principles which are held by a majority of the people of that state in serving the best interest of the nation as a whole.

When legislators focus is on representing only the best interest of the people of the state they serve then we become the "Divided States of America."

We have, in fact become 485 constituencies (435 districts in the House and 50 states), all fighting for the biggest piece of the pie and willing to sabotage not only each of the other 484 constituencies, but willing to sabotage the nation as a whole in order to fatten the purse of one small piece.

The legislators are not supposed to be "bringing home the bacon" to enrich their constituency, they are supposed to be governing the nation by casting votes in the legislature which are in accordance with principles that are held by their constituencies and which best serve the well being of the nation as a whole.

Throw In The Towel

Alabama 29, LSU 0, and the game was not that close. The Tigers offense was in Tide territory only once, and that was due to an Alabama facemask penalty. The announcers kept yammering about "keep the game close until Devin White returns" (at halftime, from prior game targeting suspension), but his name was not mentioned once in the second half.

This was a coaching failure. The offense kept doing what was not working, running up the middle into a solid wall, and attempting deep pass routes which got the quarterback sacked. Orgeron added stupidity of getting his quarterback sacked on his own goal line with 3 minutes remaining in the first half, and of attempting a field goal (which missed) when down 22 points with eight minutes left in the game. Even if successful, that three points would have contributed nothing toward winning the game.

Maybe the brain trust down in Baton Rouge should not have been quite so quick to dump Les Miles.

Friday, November 02, 2018

If You Have To Say It...

Headline today, "Oakland Raider Players Say They Have Not Quit."   Well, having just been beaten 34-3 by a team with a record of 1-7, maybe it would be better if they had quit. What does it say about their skill level if that performance last night was their best effort?